Teachers marking this year’s Form Four examinations will have to contend with tough rules to prevent cheating and collusion.
The teachers are racing against time to have the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education examinations results ready before the end of the month just as was the case last year.
Last week, chief examiners converged on the Railway Training Institute in South B, Nairobi for routine briefing by officials of the Kenya National Examinations Council before they moved to their respective stations to begin work.
The examination, which started on November 6 was concluded on Wednesday.
Friday was the last day for all the examination answer scripts to be delivered to Knec headquarters in Nairobi.
Examination marking centres have been consolidated to ensure swift relaying of results from marked exam scripts and ensure there would be no interference with the markers.
Examiners are not allowed to carry away answer scripts, marking schemes or any marking materials from the rooms or centres.
They are also not allowed to bring any unauthorised materials to the marking rooms or centres.
All marking should be done in the specified rooms at the marking centre, according to the new rules.
“Any examiner found contravening these regulations will be summarily dismissed and a report made to his or her employer for disciplinary action, warned Knec acting Chief Executive Officer Mercy Karogo in a circular to the teachers.
Ms Karogo also stressed that authority to mark extra scripts would be given by the chief examiner when an examiner or team has satisfactorily cleared their allocation.
Examiners are not be allowed to carry personal electronic gadgets like laptops and tablets to marking centres.
The normal marking hours are between 7am to 7pm.
Where there is need to work beyond these hours, the chief examiner would be required to liaise with the council for such extension.
“Every person getting into and out of a marking centre must be subject to security check or frisking at the gate,” Ms Karogo added in the circular.
“The council has banned use of mobile phones in the marking, script and e-capture rooms. Examiners are required to switch their mobile phones off or in a silent mode and store them in one desk under the supervision of the team leaders. However, they can use the phones during tea or lunch breaks outside the rooms.”
A total of 615,773 candidates registered for the 2017 KCSE examination, done in 9,350 centres.
This year’s candidates sat their Kenya Certificate of Primary Education examination in 2013 and joined secondary school the following year.
The examiners will be keenly looking any signs of cheating.
This year, three candidates and at least five teachers were kicked out of examination centres for engaging in malpractices.
During the release of this year’s KCPE examination results on November 21, Teachers Service Commission Chief Executive Officer Nancy Macharia praised the examiners for enduring tough conditions to deliver credible outcomes.
“I commend teachers for accepting the critical role of centre managers, which required them to wake up as early as 4am to be at the containers,” Mrs Macharia said.
“They did it in a splendid manner. Waking up that early is not easy.”